When Egypt’s Sherif Osman announced that he would be moving up a weight category after winning gold in the men’s up to 54kg at the 2014 World Championships, it left a vacancy.
That was filled at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games by Nigeria’s Roland Ezuruike.
With his 189kg lift Ezuruike, who was on his major international debut, placed himself at the top of the rankings for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Ezuruike went on to win Open gold at the 2015 IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships, cementing his place amongst the world’s best.
Vietnam’s Binh An Nguyen meanwhile has been racking up podium finishes of his own.
He is the champion from the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games and 2016 ASEAN Para Games and the silver medallist behind Ezuruike from the Asian Open. His best lift of 183kg was an Asian record that placed him second in the Paralympic rankings.
Having just finished off the podium at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in fourth, Nguyen is in the hunt for his first medal at that level.
Greek European champion Dmitrios Bakochristos has improved significantly on his 168kg lift from the 2014 World Championships. He has climbed to third best in the Paralympic rankings with 181kg.
You can catch the men’s up to 54kg on 9 September at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. All Para powerlifting events will be contested at the Riocentro – Pavilion 2.